I would like to share my experiences with the game and what I have learned. Once you get enough momentum, this game does become fun (and addicting). I hope a new player reading this information will have a much better time starting in this game than I did, and achieve that momentum. Here are things I have learned as a noob:
- When starting a new character, always make sure you have a referral code handy. It's a free 1,000 gold when you do, and your only chance to put one in is during the tutorial. It also gives 40 food to the person who referred you, each time you level up (until level 8, I think). Last I checked, 40 food equals about 15,000 gold, so the person who referred you is getting the better end of the deal. Still, even 1,000 gold is useful at the start of the game, but try to use a referral code from someone who deserves it!
- Food is a very valuable resource in this game. You need to spend 80 food each time you level up your character, or else you are stuck at that level. 80 food costs about 30k gold, which is a lot. This game gives you a starting amount of food, and it also gives you an extra 2 food every now and then, but it's not much. Try to be responsible with how you spend your food. You can also sell items for food at a Trade Hub.
- Chopping wood gives you a lot of food and/or gold. If you ever need either, go chop some wood. Being a part of a large city or kingdom makes this much easier. Chopping trees is also a great way to harvest sap and berries. If trolls come out to bother you, just kill them and continue chopping. They will get angry and refuse to sell you Roc feathers, but only for (at most) a day, so make sure you have enough feathers before attacking them
- If you have questions about something and want to learn more, make sure you check out the Official Guide (actually, it's more like a wiki). You can also access this guide in-game, by going into the game menu and clicking on the "?" icon in the top-right.
- Combat Training is the most important skill to max out, so much that I maxed it out from the very start. It offers the biggest improvement for any new player, and allows you to do cool things like tank damage from an entire flag full of enemies, or kill dragons with spears at level 1.
- Taunt and Cleave are also important skills to have. Taunt will cause most enemies to fight you in a group, and Cleave will damage multiple enemies at once. This combination allows you to quickly kill multiple enemies and clear entire flags. I've only ever needed to put two points into Taunt, but Cleave is very weak until you max it at level 3. Cleave also doesn't work well against tougher enemies. This is why Hunter's Eye is another important skill, because it multiplies damage dealt by up to 2x (at level 3).
- There are different player classes unlocked at level 10. The different classes are: Legion, Knight, Warrior, Ranger, Militia, Ninja, Assassin, Druid, Thief, Mercenary, and Oiyoy Master. These classes give bonuses to specific weapons and armor, so you should plan ahead before buying any expensive equipment. You don't want to buy a +20 breastplate for your Ninja, only to find out they only wear tunics. There are also other, non-combat classes that you might want to plan ahead for. These classes are: Merchant, Crafter, and Explorer.
- It’s much cheaper to buy upgraded equipment, than upgrade it yourself. I have gotten +7-10 equipment for as little as 1.5k per item. I'd also suggest saving up for level 20+ equipment and buying that as well. For the best prices (and availability) on items and equipment, get an invite to one of the major Trade Hubs. These hubs are where most players shop, and they usually have the best prices for everything. Happy Valley(Oregon), Commerce(Texas), and New York(New York) are the few I have heard of. Ask in trade chat for the best hub relative to your location, and a friendly person might even invite you there for free!
- If you really feel like upgrading your equipment, wait until the durability drops below 10%. I've been told that upgrade costs are based upon durability, so lower the rating, the cheaper the cost.
- Don't spend gold repairing your equipment. Halvar's Resin is much cheaper and you can easily craft it or buy it from a Trade Hub.
- It's always nice to keep a stockpile of important things in your house. Try to keep an emergency stash of food, berries, roc feathers, halvar's resin, wood, and leather. Learn to buy in bulk: it's not only cheaper, but it allows you to resupply at your house instead of travelling farther away to a trade hub.
- Buy a regular pair of gloves and boots as soon as you can afford it. They make life so much easier. Chopping wood wears out gloves quickly, usually after 100 chops. Since gloves and boots cannot be repaired, you should keep that in mind. You need a city house or country manor in order to equip gloves or boots.
- Purses help protect you from losing gold when you die, but they are also very expensive. You don't need a purse if you are a) careful and b) keep most of your wealth in food and items. You will want to get a purse eventually, but you can put it off for a while.
- When attacked by multiple enemies, they will only attack you one at a time, so don’t worry about fighting too many. This is why taunt is such a great skill to have. The more enemies you can get within a flag (to taunt them), the better. This also means harder-hitting enemies do less damage when you fight them with weaker enemies, because they attack less often.
- Remember that flags sometimes overlap, so if you clear a flag, you might also clear about 30% off the flags right next to you. Make sure you put enough distance between flag jumps to maximize the amount of enemies per flag.
- Learn how to berry-tank. It's when you heal yourself during combat using a Mourning Berry, and use the health regeneration to "tank" the damage dealt by multiple enemies. You can also use the healing aura from Mourning Trees, but be careful: Enemies within the aura will also get healed. Try to always keep your health above 30%, so if your tank ever breaks (i.e you're taking more damage than you can heal) you have time to run away.
- When a monster is killed, you get experience based on the damage dealt, not the killing blow. So if someone else does 90% of the damage, they will get 90% of the experience, even if you killed the monster. This is also true for monsters that attack each other. Even though it's cool to watch monsters duke it out, you are losing potential experience for killing that monster.
- When you jump to a flag, enemies are spawned based on your average *equipment* level, not your player level, so always keep that in mind. While there are 26 equipment levels, there are only 5 tiers of enemies: Timid, Normal, Strong, Vicious, and Epic. Because of this, enemy difficulty is not distributed evenly. At certain equipment levels, you might spawn enemies too strong for you, making leveling difficult. You might also run into difficult enemies that were spawned by a previous, higher-level player. Try to avoid these tougher enemies, at least until you are strong enough to tank their damage.
- I have found the “sweet spot” for leveling to be around equipment level 10, because you will spawn at most Strong-tier enemies, which should be easy to kill. Vicious and Epic tier enemies are usually much more difficult and not worth the effort until you get 20+ equipment.
- Water hunting(a.k.a hunting in the ocean), when done properly, is an amazing source of gold and experience. So much experience, in fact, that you can easily outpace your gold (and food) income and get stuck not being able to afford to level up (it costs 80 food, or under 30k gold). Be careful of that. When water hunting, don't be afraid to skip monsters that are too much effort to kill. I regularly skip Sirens, Corrupted Ones, and Stone Hunters. Speed and efficiency is key.
- Owning land, at least in the beginning, is overrated. It's better to find someone with a lot of flags (in a good location) and ask them for passage rights. Cities and Kingdoms can also give you access to lots of free land. You want one that is quiet and peaceful, preferably near a body of water (for water hunting). Being in a city also let's you build a City House. I'd suggest building your own city house right away (use the gold from the referral code), because they let you drop items on the ground for storage and they also let you equip gloves/boots.
- Upgrading your Log Cabin to a Country Manor gives you the ability to upgrade certain flags so you can jump to them from the travel menu. This becomes extremely useful later in the game when building flags in remote locations, or marking Troll Huts, claimed Caves/Mines, dungeons, etc. for easy access.
- When you decide to settle down and build your Country Manor, make sure you build it in a remote location that other players can't easily get to. This will protect you from retaliation by enemy players, who will want to burn down your territory. Usually, you can find a remote location by walking your dog, but this will not really work for players who live in a heavily populated area. Remember: Your dog will always walk you to open territory relative to your current position. If you relocate yourself to a less populated region, your dog will have a much better chance of walking you to a remote area.
- If you ever find yourself stranded without any Roc feathers, use your City Ticket! This is a ticket in your inventory for the city nearest to you when you first created your character. You can always use this ticket to travel back to this city for zero Roc feathers. You can also use the "Relocate" option in the travel menu, which is also free. If you join a Kingdom, you will always be able to travel to your Kingdom's castle for free.
- Oil wells, Crystal Huts and Research Labs are all cumulative. The sooner you build them, the more they will pay off in the long run. I've only ever needed 1 of each. You should also build an Armory and start training Axemen Golems right away, because they are extremely beneficial to have later on, and a single +5 upgraded axeman golem takes 4-5 days to make. Might as well start now!
- Some skills require you to collect Troodont scales, Roc eggs, or other items from a Dungeon in order to unlock them. Since it costs Refined Oil (a.k.a food) every time you enter a dungeon, it's usually much easier (and cheaper) to buy these items off the market and turn them in the first time.
- If you ever find yourself with a lot of gold, and you need a safe place to store it (so you don't lose any on death), you can use Trade Hubs like a rudimentary bank. Place the gold in a sell order for some ridiculous price, and the gold will remain safely in the Trade Hub until the sell order expires, which is two weeks.
- If you're having trouble redeeming your 100 free food through PK's Facebook offer, try using Internet Explorer on a computer (instead of your mobile device). That is what finally worked for me.
Keep in mind this information is based on my experience, and is partly my opinion. I will try to add to this post as I learn more things. I'm also open to suggestions from other players! Feel free to critique my post below, or offer additional tips! If you found the above information useful, feel free to use my referral code: YFNCFX. In return, I'll also try to be your (unofficial) mentor in-game. I think the devs should make it work like this by default, but that's another discussion.
P.S My character in-game is DizzyCloud. This is an old account that I'm (somehow) still logged into the forums with.
Edited on 01/03/11: Added some more things to the guide, and put in some categories to make it easier to read. Thanks for the sticky!